When you work from home and are going at it alone there are many things I have learned that will help you find more success. Here are some of the things that have helped me over my 5 years of being a solopreneur.
Have a dedicated work space:
Having a dedicated workspace is one of the most important things you can do for yourself. Step away from the dining room table or the comfy living room couch. You need a serious place to work that is dedicated to you and your business. Take this very seriously. You will immediately feel the difference it makes in your productivity and work when you create a designated space. If you are tight on space you can pick up a very affordable fold down desk at IKEA that literally takes up ZERO space. If you have more room to play with I highly recommend you set up an office in a room with a door. This helps you set boundaries (see tip number 4) and gives you a quiet place to work.
Get out and network
As a solo business person you can sometimes get a little lonely. This is only one of the important reasons why you need to get out and network. Join a networking group or attend a couple of local events. Bring your business cards and make connections. All the hard work I put in networking when I started my business is now paying me back in dividends! Just don’t forget that the fortune is in the follow up!
Get out and socialize with like minded and positive people
Similar to networking, you need to get out and meet with like minded friends and connections. Bounce ideas off of each other or just enjoy a break. One of my good friends is a business coach so she always gives great perspective when I get together with her. This is especially helpful when you are feeling uninspired or blocked. Getting out and socializing with friends and like minded people will get those creative juices flowing once again...And who knows, maybe you will help inspire someone else in return.
When you are a business there are all kinds of boundaries people like to break. It is important that you start setting boundaries early on in your business. The first is the boundary of your workspace and time. This is especially important when you work from home. Your family and housemates need to know what your work hours are and you need to be able to dedicate yourself to your work during that time. Also you need to set boundaries with your time and worth. Friends, family, connections and total strangers will come to you trying to get you to do work for free or for the price of a cup of coffee. You need to remember your knowledge and time is worth something and you need to figure out a way to let people know that you do not work for free.
Have a creative outlet or hobby
Sometimes we get stuck. We lose inspiration or we get stressed out from dealing with difficult people all day. When this happens, one of the best solutions is to jump into a fun hobby. It is especially helpful when your hobby is a creative outlet. This allows your mind work on something creative that does not have to do with your work. This can help inspire your business ideas to take on new and fruitful directions. This can also help alleviate stress.
Entrepreneurs tend to be a little obsessive...For good reason. We need to be all in almost all the time to get past the hardest couple of years in business. However, even the most dedicated entrepreneur needs to take breaks. Stand up and stretch, go eat lunch away from your computer, or get out of your house for a power walk. You will burn out very quickly if you do not take breaks to refuel.
Stop the distractions
Unless you are using it for business, get off of Facebook when you should be working! But it’s not just social networks that can suck the attention and time away from an entrepreneur. Constant phone calls and interruptions can also cause distraction. Be sure to set those boundaries and create work hours where you will not take calls so you can really focus.
I learned this lesson about 4 years ago. I hired an assistant and opened my quechedule WAY up to focus on the things that bring me the most joy and pay me the most money. Within two months my business doubled. Now I am in my 5th year of business and about to hire a VA. I often outsource jobs that I don’t care to work on or I am not the expert at. Blogging (for clients), creating images and admin tasks are just some of the task I hand off my plate so I can focus on what I do best.
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